Summer internships provide a world of learning for students with disabilities


Twenty three students with disabilities from the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools (MCVTS) have received a taste of the world of work this summer through paid internships.

The students worked at such job sites as the Raritan Bay YMCA and Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, E.A.R.T.H. Center in South Brunswick, and the YMCAs of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy, according to information provided by MCVTS.

Dr. Tracey Maccia, MCVTS director of Special Education, said the goal was “to provide real-life work experiences where students can apply their academic and technical skills and develop employability skills.”

Maccia and Janice Fishbein, manager of the Middlesex County office of the Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services, organized the program.

The students, who worked 10 hours a week for six weeks, learned “to follow instructions of a supervisor, speak respectfully to a supervisor and respond appropriately to a supervisor’s criticism,” Maccia said. Some of the students were provided with job coaches by the state agency to assist with their transition to paid employment.

“Internships are a great way for a student with a disability to begin exploring work-based learning activities such as career awareness, career exploration, and career planning,” Maccia said.


MCVTS will continue the collaboration with the state division throughout the school year and into the summer of 2017 through the Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) program, Maccia said.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools provide special education and related services to approximately 35 percent of its students.

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